Obituary of Joan L. Kastner
Joan Lorraine Kastner, 87, a lifelong resident of Glastonbury, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at Hartford Hospital surrounded by her loving family. Joan was born on August 15, 1932 in the attic of her Glastonbury home on Naubuc Avenue. She attended High Street School and Glastonbury High School, class of 1950. She earned money picking tobacco in the South Glastonbury fields. She spent many memorable holidays at her Nye family homes on Pease Lane. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree from Willimantic State Teachers College (now Eastern Connecticut State University). She was an elementary school teacher for the town of Rocky Hill, beginning in 1961. She became a stay-at-home mom for her four daughters. Later, she resumed her teaching career as a substitute teacher for Glastonbury Public Schools. She and her husband, Don, enjoyed many camping trips with their girls. They attended numerous sporting events, recitals and award ceremonies for every one of their grandchildren. In her spare time, Joan developed a talent and passion for watercolor painting and collected Precious Moments Figurines. She married Donald “Don” Charles Kastner, a Navy Reservist, on April 24,1963 at the Congregational Church in South Glastonbury. Their story began when Don drove past Joan’s home on the hill of Main Street in South Glastonbury (a former schoolhouse) and saw Joan "Blondie" up on a ladder painting her house blue. When her car’s clutch started to fail, she was told to bring it to Don’s Boat Transport (and Marina) on the Connecticut River in Portland. He loaned his English Ford Station Wagon to her while he fixed her Renault Dauphine sedan. When she returned his car to him, he asked her on a date. That was the beginning of a 56 year love story. Joan was a woman whose love for her family knew no boundaries. "Grandma" lived vicariously through her 16 grandchildren. She was an excellent teacher in the classroom and within her home. She was a quiet leader who led by example. She was sweet, generous, supportive, and kind. She was quick to laugh and had a contagious smile. She enjoyed playing cards and any type of game. She especially enjoyed playing Super Tock 8 with her brother John and wife, Sherry. Joan was a survivor. She repeatedly overcame her health obstacles, so she could return home to her family. She was always thankful and never wanted to be a bother to anyone. She loved the color pink, sparkles on her clothes, curls in her hair, and matching her scarves and purses to the seasons. Flowers, real or silk, adorned her home. She was a lover of all animals. Joan was predeceased by her beloved mother Florence May Nye and father Joseph Paul Milek, her beloved brother John “Steve” Milek, and others of her cherished Nye family. Joan is survived by her devoted husband Donald Kastner and their four loving daughters, 3 cherished son-in-laws, 16 very much adored grandchildren, her sweet little dog Bella, and others of her beloved Nye family. Her daughters’ families are as follows... Donna and Ronald Senna and their children Cameron, Evelyn, and Emily Senna; Deborah and Thomas Kasper and their children Katie, Robby, Peter, Rachel, Sam, and Abbie Kasper; Christine Therkelsen and her children Tracy (Anderson) Kerr and husband Dan had Kerr, and Lindsay, Ricky, and Brittany Anderson; Joni and Rick O’Toole and their children Alyssa, Francis, and Melody O’Toole. We’d like to thank Sarah Matterfis, APRN and Dr. Kevin Tally for their compassionate care. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held on Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 1 p.m. at the Congregational Church in South Glastonbury, Reverend Allen officiating. Reception immediately following in the church hall. Wake and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.